Oscars relegate four award categories to commercial breaks

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Oscars relegate four award categories to commercial breaks

Oscars organizers on Monday announced the four award categories that will be presented during commercial breaks at this year’s ceremony, taking strict measures to keep the telecast to a tight three hours.

The categories are cinematography, film editing, makeup and hairstyling, and live-action short, all of which will be awarded during the four or so minutes of commercials in between the live telecast.

John Bailey, a cinematographer and the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, made the announcement in a letter to Academy members, saying the winner’s speeches from all four categories will be live-streamed online and aired later during the TV broadcast.

James Leynse/Corbis via Getty Images

“Viewing patterns for the Academy Awards are changing quickly in our current multi-media world, and our show must also evolve to successfully continue promoting motion pictures to a worldwide audience,” Bailey said in the letter. “This has been our core mission since we were established 91 years ago — and it is the same today.” Bailey added that the four categories selected to be handed out during commercial breaks will be part of a yearly rotation, and will be exempt from the same fate next year.

The cinematography category this year sees a tight race between Roma’s Alfonso Cuaron and Cold War’s Lukasz Zal, while film editing will see stiff competition between BlacKkKlansman, Bohemian Rhapsody, The Favourite, Green Book, and Vice. In the makeup and hairstyling race, nominees from Border, Mary Queen of Scots, and Vice will compete for the Oscar, while Detainment, Fauve, Marguerite, Mother, and Skin will duke it out for the live-action short prize.

Along with a hostless Oscars ceremony this year, the Academy has been working closely with ABC to craft a tighter show. At the Oscar nominees luncheon last week, Oscar producers Glenn Weiss and Donna Gigliotti told nominees that if they win on Oscar night, they will have exactly 90 seconds to get to the stage and deliver their acceptance speech.

The Academy announced its first round of presenters last week, including Daniel Craig, Jennifer Lopez, Tina Fey, Whoopi Goldberg, and Tessa Thompson. All five original-song contenders will be performed on the Oscars stage, including Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper singing “Shallow” from A Star is Born, and last year’s acting winners — Frances McDormand, Allison Janney, Gary Oldman, and Sam Rockwell — will all return to present trophies to this year’s acting winners.

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